Monday, February 09, 2009

BHM: The Quiz

Searching for something to do to celebrate Black History Month, I realized that I hadn't seen anything much about people with disabilities within the Black community. I did a search and didn't find much but I did find this quiz which was unsourced. I called a friend of mine who assists his company in putting together activities every year to mark the month and asked him if he had any other references that I could use. He said that the whole issue of disability within the Black community has a horrible and tragic past. When I asked him to explain he said simply, 'What economic value do you think slave owners put on babies that were born different?' After a long pause, I said, 'Oh.' He said, 'Oh, indeed.'

I told him of this quiz and read him out the questions, he got all but one. I'm wondering how you all will do. I found it under the title you see here below and have not changed it. If anyone knows a source, please put it in the comments and I'll transfer it to this post.

In honour of the month and in honour of those who never got the chance ...

Black Disabled Trivia

1) This slave rescued other slaves and brought them to freedom. Who is she? What was her disability?

2) This famous soul singer in 1997 he wrote a book called Truly Blessed, about his life before and after his accident. Who is he?

3) This African American is the first deaf professional baseball player. Who is he?

4)A 1992 comedy show, ‘‘In Living Color’’, introduced the first Black disabled hero. Who was it?

5)This Black amputee, 1984 Olympic skier and author was the first Director for President Clinton’’s Human Capital Issues on the National Economic Council. Who is it?

This post isn't much but I hope it adds a bit to the celebration of the triumph of difference over prejudice.


Jaime said...

I was able to find this article online...

Ettina said...

There was also Blind Tom, a blind, developmentally disabled black slave who was known for his remarkable talent at playing piano. He's part of black disabled history. He must have been lucky, I guess, since his disability probably became evident before his 'redeeming' talents did.

Dave Hingsburger said...

Ettina, I had never heard of Blind Tom but I looked him up and discovered that you can still buy his music. I've ordered a DVD and am excited about hearing it. What an incredible story, thank you for letting me know.

Claire said...

Are you going to post the answers?

Dave Hingsburger said...

Claire, I'm going to post the answers tonight here in the comments section.

stevethehydra said...

Well, no one else has answered, so...

#1 has to be Harriet Tubman. I know she was disabled but don't know, without using Wikipedia, what her impairment was - i'm going to guess some sort of mobility impairment...

#2 - i'm going to have to say Curtis Mayfield, although i didn't know he ever wrote a book. A big musical hero of mine actually - and a lot of his lyrics have huge resonance in disability contexts to me, even though, ironically, they were written long before he became disabled. (I think he released one album post-spinal injury, in about 1996? IIRC he became disabled in 1990 and died in 1999...)

#3 i have no idea whatsoever about ANYTHING to do with sport (disabled sport or otherwise), so have to pass.

#4... Gary Coleman?

#5 again, no idea...

Re "economic value", it's worth noting that not all disabled children born to African-American slaves were killed (although undoubtedly many, many were) - some were sold to circuses, and often arguably had "better" lives as performing "freaks" than their able-bodied siblings had on the plantations. In fact, the circuses were probably about the first site of cross-racial solidarity between white and non-white disabled people (and some non-disabled non-white people, who were exhibited as "exotic savages" and the like) in the US. (Eli Clare covered this area to an extent in a chapter of "Exile and Pride: Queerness, Disability and Liberation", tho other books may have covered it as well - i'd appreciate recommendations if anyone knows of others...)

Adrienne Lauby said...

Leroy Moore Jr.'s column, Illin' and Chillin', published at Poor Magazine, has a lot of cool information on black artists. This link describes a CD of disabled Hip hop artists.

...getting the musical talents of hip-hop artists with disabilities into the hands of media outlets, educators, and hip-hop, disabled and race scholars, as well as, youth, hip-hop conference coordinators and agents etc..
Krip-Hip-Hop Tracks
Leroy F. Moore Jr. (CA): Crip-Hip-Hop
C.R.I.$.I.$. (Africa, Zambia): Good Foot
JAKE (Spain): Solo saben mentir
PASTR S'WAYNE (TX): GospelHipHopAcapplla
Fezo da MadOne (MA): Game Changer
ROB DA' NOIZE TEMPLE (NY): Pushing Limits
Preechman (Haiti\NY): On A Track Like This
Poppa Wheely (NY): Poppa Don’t Take No
CB-Funk (Germany): Qualen
Four Wheel City (NY): Sometimes I Feel
Profesir X (NY): The Government
Professor Blind F8 (CA): Turn up the funk
DA Southern Boyz (FL): Creep Mode
Fred Beam (D.C.): Secrete
DJ Quad (CA): 2Many
Helix Boyz (D.C.): Blow Your Mind
Zulu King Khazm (OR): Dear Diary
MF GRIMM (NY): I Don’t Know
Â’˜ron daniella (CA): "The Strength of Love Within"

Other essays on the blog also offer great information on this topic. see these especially: Black Disabled Art History 101; Pulling From Our Roots - Black Disabled Artists\Painters Then & Now.

Check him out. He's terrific!

Dave Hingsburger said...

The answers to the quiz:

1) Harriet Tubman and her disability was epilepsy which was caused by a slave overseer's whip.

2) Teddy Pendergrass

3) Curtis John Pride

4) Handiman

5) Bonnie St. John Deane

Adrienne Lauby said...

More on Black disabled superheros from Carolyn Tyjewski:

While "Handiman" is the character created in 1992 for the show "In Living Color," he was by no means the first Disabled Black superhero. There were several before him. For example, in (I believe) 1971, DC Comics created Black Racer an African American Disabled Vietnam Vet, Sgt. Willie Walker. There are quite a few other Black superheros with disabilities that were created in the late 1960s and into the 1970s (most likely due to the Black Power movement and the popularity of superheros during that time) and there were probably others I don't know about that were created before that period (not my area of expertise).

5) A 1992 comedy show, "In Living Color," introduced the first Black disabled hero. Who was it? 5) Who was Handiman.

wendy said...

I can only answer number 1
Harriet Tubman, a hero of mine since childhood. She suffered from narcolepsy as a result of a blow to the head with a chain by an overseer.